October 21, 2015 at 9:59 pm #4721
This is definitely a tough one. The cost of education is rising so quickly, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop going up any time soon.
I advise the following (because I did most of them!):
- Attend a public college, if possible, because the tuition is cheaper and no one cares where you went after graduation
- Stick with federally-insured loans (Stafford loans), and stay away from private loans, if possible, because they are harder to consolidate and usually charge a higher interest rate
- Pay interest payments on unsubsidized loans during school, if you can, to reduce your overall loan amount prior to graduation
- Check out the government’s 10-year loan forgiveness program here and have your loans forgiven if you work at a VA facility for 10 years (vs. 30 years with a traditional loan pay off)
- Do some per diem work (part-time) on the side that equals the amount of your monthly loan payment (i.e., 2 Saturdays a month (8 hours per day) at $50/hour is $800 a month pre-tax)
- Pair up with another PT a couple years after graduation and do some travel physical therapy. Living expenses and other stipends paid to you and your roommate are tax free when you travel far enough from your permanent residence, and by teaming up, you can pocket nearly half of the living expenses.
Best of luck! Hope that helps!